Novena Day 1
Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew (1549 – 1626)
“Silence is precious; by keeping silence and knowing how to listen to God, the soul grows in wisdom and God teaches it what it cannot learn from men.”
Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew
Feast Day ~ June 7
The youngest of seven children, Anne was born into a devout family of landowning farmers in the Castile region of Spain. From an early age, Anne had a deep love for Jesus and desired to become a nun. She experienced a number of dreams in which she realized she was being directed toward a recently-founded Discalced Carmelite monastery in Ávila. Anne entered Saint Joseph’s monastery in Ávila in 1570, becoming the first lay sister. After her profession, Anne joined Saint Teresa on her travels to Valladolid and Medina del Campo. Teresa thought very highly of Anne, and she proved invaluable to Teresa as her secretary and nurse. In the last years of her life, no longer able to write herself, Teresa would dictate her correspondence to Anne. Anne was an especially dedicated nurse, attending to Teresa’s health problems during her final years. Teresa died in Anne’s arms in 1582 at the convent in Alba de Tormes.
Anne returned to Ávila after Teresa’s death and would eventually travel to Paris in 1604 to establish the Discalced Carmelites nuns in France, where Anne became the founding prioress of two convents – in Pontoise and Tours. A few years later, Anne journeyed to Belgium, founding a Carmel in Antwerp, and it is here that she remained prioress for the rest of her life, dying on June 7, 1626. Anne was beatified in 1917.
Blessed Anne’s spirituality focused on seeking and desiring God’s will, and faithfully carrying out and lovingly uniting herself to His will. In her autobiography, Anne wrote extensively about her mystical union with Jesus in reliving with Him the joyful and sorrowful mysteries of His earthly life.